According to JRC (2013), metal working industry represents 13 % of the 2.5 m Potential Contaminated Sites (PCS) in the EU. Consequently, a significant amount of their produced waste was deposited in landfills (37.2% of all PCS). Assessing these figures reveals approx.100.000 sites with a recovery potential of metals.
While recent metallic waste streams are usually treated, older waste (aggregated material with high ferrous metal content, scrap, other metals, white and black slags and other streams) are considered as a source of pollution, expensive to manage/eliminate. REGENERATIS aims to transform this problem into an opportunity, as large volumes of resources (metals, materials & land) from Past Metallurgical Sites and Deposits (PMSD) can be recovered by urban-mining. In order to implement this in NWE, REGENERATIS tackles the sectoral and contextual barriers. The main challenge for stakeholders is the environmental risk&the profitability of recovery processes. Currently all PMSD are managed within a remediation strategy focused on environmental impact/risk. In NWE region PCS inventories are inadequate, as they lack relevant data on the economic potential (quantity, quality & materials value). Traditional exploration methods are not focused on raw materials recovery.
REGENERATIS delivers an evidence-based solution implemented & tested on 3 sites (including innovative characterization by geophysics, innovative recovery processes guidance, artificial intelligence algorithm), promotes an Harmonized Inventory Structure, and supports new business models for resource recovery from PMSD, by using open source 4D Smart Tool (SMARTIX). Impact is guaranteed by long-term involvement of all REGENERATIS partners/ associated partners to convince stakeholders. Beneficiaries are public&private PMSD owners, managers&operators.10 years after: 60 raw materials recovery projects launched on PMSD throughout NWE, 3 m t of valuable materials recovered & 3000 jobs created.